Right Start Blog

Add "UnSelfie" to YOUR Summer Reading List!

By: Annie Hasselgren
Join our faculty and staff in reading this summer's book: "UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me-World."
Again this year, Mr. Mufson has given a book to our staff and faculty for summer reading. In the summer of 2015, some of you might remember that it was The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Katherine Steiner Adair. At the start of the school year, Mr. Mufson held a group discussion in the Aftercare Room for parents and community members who had read the book or were interested in the topic. We are reviving that event again this year!
This summer, our book is titled Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World by Dr. Michele Borba. Dr. Borba lays out how and why people with empathy are happier and more successful in life and explains what parents and educators must do to reverse the “empathy crisis” among children today—including a 9-step empathy-building program to guide kids from birth into adulthood.
The author states that teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago, which explains the self-absorption epidemic she terms Selfie Syndrome. So, why is a lack of empathy so dangerous? Dr. Borba names several reasons: 1) It hurts kids’ academic performance; 2) it can lead to bullying behaviors; 3) it tends to correlate with more cheating and less resilience; and 4) as grown ups, a lack of empathy hampers one’s ability to collaborate, innovate, and problem-solve—all must-have skills for succeeding in a global economy.
Thus, an issue of this gravity should be taken to heart here at school. Mr. Mufson will hold a group discussion on Unselfie and the topic of encouraging empathy in our children in mid-September. We will announce a firm date in a few weeks. For more information, please contact Annie Hasselgren at ahasselgren@countryschool.org or 410-822-1935 x130.

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